Ping the Duck: From Micro Duckling to Mega Muscovy (Page 6 Update!)

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Kedreeva, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

    Jun 10, 2010
    *****Update: Come see Page 6, but in short, Ping is doing great at the farm! Pics and video included!

    So I just had my first two hatches of ducklings ever (hatched as a favor to a friend, who couldn't get them to 'go' in her incubator) and they're all doing great- eating, drinking, splashing in the water tupperware and making so much noise.... except one of them. The rest were up and mobile less than a day after hatching and gobbling up food like you wouldn't believe. Two of them were 'late' hatchers- one was a muscovy mix and one was about 3 days late.

    It's the 3 days late one I am worried for. It will take little pecks at the food if I move it over to the food and swish my finger around in the starter, but it's incredibly tiny and thin compared to the rest, even the one that hatched a day and a half after it. I thought maybe it would have a little slower start on the first day, because he had SUCH a hard time hatching (I had to help and the inner membrane had practically glued itself to his skin and feathers, so there were several warm baths involved before he started to fluff out)... but it's been days since then and he hasn't really grown, still isn't eating like the others were, and is cold -all the time- even under the 100 watt heat lamp at times. Even a few seconds out from under the lamp makes him start shivering, and it's 80 degrees in my house outside of the brooder and it was over 90 yesterday (in the shade!) when I took the whole group outside.

    Currently he's indoors in the brooder under a big heat lamp with his nearly 2-day-younger sibling for company. They've got mixed pine shaving bedding with paper towels over the top of that. They've got a water tower they both have used on their own and 2 food dishes- 1 is the bottom of an old waterer and 1 is a food bowl made to go on wire bird cages. They seem to like the second one better. He's about 3-4 days old. I *think* he's a runner mix duckling by his colors (which could account for his being smaller, but I have another which looks *exactly* like him from the week prior, but who is doing just fine).

    I'm thinking I really need to get some food into this little guy a few times a day, more than a peck or two, but I'm not sure what would be best. Same as chicks, ground egg and yogurt with mashed starter? I've heard people saying sugar water or add electrolytes to the water- how exactly does one 'add electrolytes' to water? Is there anything else I can do to help this... well, runt of the litter so to speak?
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010
  2. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    I had a wee runt too! But a chick sorry - don;t know anything about ducks at all but - if it works for a chick I would assume it will work for a duck.
    Have you got one of those heat bag things you can put in the microwave? If wee duck is shivering all the time it could be a few things. Shock, fear, not just cold.
    If you have one of those heat bags ( Sometimes kids have them in teddy covers etc. ) Warm it but not tooooo hot. make sure it has a cover and sit the Duck on that. It would be good to give him a teddy something to snuggle up to as they thrive better with a mummy figure! Failing that cut the end off a sock and put it inside that will warm him and also help him feel secure - oh and don;t leave him like that do take him out to excersize!!!!!!!! You might have to use an eye dropper to get fluids into him. That is really important as your heating him up he may become dehydrated - so YOU MUST GET HIM TO DRINK.

    I found yogurt worked great with my wee one - it wouldn;t eat either and actually the first thing mine ate was the inside of my egg custard tart! Egg is really good because it has high protein. You may have to stand over him and tap were the food is or pick it up in tweezers and give it to him.

    I am sure someone else will be along to give advice - all I can do is say what worked for our wee chick - sorry about knowing nothing about Ducks!

    Oesdog - good luck [​IMG]
  3. secretquail

    secretquail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2010
    Chapel Hill
    You can buy electrolytes that are liquid. Just drop a few in their water. I've not used any for my birds, so I'm not sure if feed stores have them, but you can get them from health food stores or vitamin stores. I wonder if the local drug store would have them.
  4. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

    Jun 10, 2010
    Thank you secret. There's a vitamin store just down the road from me actually, I'd forgotten all about it until you mentioned it! I will drop by tomorrow and find out if they have any!
  5. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010
    I often have a little one that is smaller than its hatchmates. The fact that you had to help this one hatch may explain in part the weakness in it. It is important for ducklings to follow the natural process of hatching to gain strength - It could also mean that the little one has some internal problem and would not have been strong enough to hatch on its own without assistance. Ensuring it is warm and has access to food and water- vitamins for a boost is about all you can do- and hope that over the next day or so the little one will perk up a bit.

    Best of luck with your little one - the little ones always turn out my favourite ones.
  6. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

    Jun 10, 2010
    Well, I helped it because it was glued into the egg, not because it was weaker.... and it's not listless or weak, it's just.... small and stupid and cold a lot *facepalm* I guess it doesn't help it any that it's still a little crusty, and I can't seem to get it to fluff out fully- it scraped off a LOT of its down struggling to get out of the shell, and still has a couple of pink 'raw' spots from rubbing on the shell's edge. I gave in to help when I realized it had gotten stuck because the membrane was drying to it's skin >.<
  7. Puddle Foot Farm

    Puddle Foot Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2008
    This is a homemade electrolyte recipe that I love so much I emailed it to myself so I'll always have it..

    1 cup hot water
    2 tsp sugar
    1/8 tsp salt
    1/8 tsp baking soda
    Mix together to dissolve. Let cool.

    Add 1 tsp of mixture to a gallon of water

    The most important thing for him is fluids and warmth now. Then, you can move on to food. I had a chick who had failure to thrive last week who I was sure was going to pass - luckily, she is on the mend and living with the other chicks, albeit smaller than the rest. I also had a gosling who got stuck in the shell (and the bottom of the incubator, we found out) - he was smaller than the rest when he hatched, so we had him in with one friend. Over time, I washed him with warm water and blowdried him to fluff him up, because it really does help keep them warm.

    For liquid food, we use soy milk with a little chick starter dissolved in it.. We then slowly up the chick starter content so it becomes more and more solid and then they learn to eat solids. We only ever feed them warmed food, because it can decrease their internal temp if you give them cold food.

    Good luck with your little one and update us!
  8. L0rraine

    L0rraine Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2009
    Whidbey Island
    I get my crumbles a little wet and soft and put a bit on the end of my finger or the end of a spoon and find that that sometimes encourages my 'slower to start' ones to eat. Fraid the most recent one I did this with still prefers to eat that way. [​IMG]
  9. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    Sometimes those little runts just don't grow. I lost one from my last hatch. There have been people who were able to keep their runts going, but even then there are ongoing health issues (aka Microduck). The vitamins and electros will help give the little guy a chance, but don't be surprised if you lose the little one.
  10. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

    Jun 10, 2010
    I will try to get pictures of him with his younger sibling when I get home. I will try that electrolyte mixture and probably get some from the store as well. I spied him eating some food from his perch on top of his friend's back last night. He didn't like the egg mixture (I had to clean it off from everywhere he flung it after spitting it out) but I will try adding some yogurt after I get a chance to get to the store today. I added my newly hatched peacock to his brooder, and she's all over the food- I'm hoping her appetite is contagious since ducks have such a strong 'flock' instinct and want to do whatever someone else in the flock is doing.

    I don't mind if he's a micro-duck and has special needs, I can certainly cater to that if need be. Just have to know how and you guys are great for that!

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